Stan Bush first came to the fore in the AOR band Boulder in the very late seventies. They recorded a self-titled album way back in 1979, filled with soft rock and country influences of all music. Okay, it did't chart and only Bush survived the eighties and recorded great solo albums such as his self-titled debut from 1983, and the all-time classic 'Stan Bush & Barrage' in 1987. Let's have an episode of 'Just For The Record' with the latter album, yeah? Many fine solo albums throughout the years (Dial 818 888-8638 etc.), and eventually the smashing, 'In This Life', from the year of 2007. Mr. Bush is currently in the studio recording the follow-up to the RockUnited.com favorite of 07'. "Dream The Dream" is scheduled for release in August this year and we've had a chance to catch up with the man. Hey, how long have ya' been locked up in the studio?
"It's taken almost a year and a half as we started at the beginning of 2009. The recording process has taken over a year. We tracked drums and bass in a total of three days, but the parts were already pretty much there in rough form. Even though we didn't work every day, the sessions were spread out over all that time. I edited my own vocals using Pro Tools. It’s really nice as singer to have that kind of control over the final product," grunts the ever so friendly, Mr. Melody, also known as Stan Bush as he sits infront of the pc in his studio. "We're actually mixing at the moment, so the magic is really coming together," and this L.A. legend of rock in and around AOR and soft rock/power pop circles should know what he's talking about by now.
"some people may say my style is a bit 'old school', but that's fine with me"...
After all, the man wrote classic hits and albums already back in the good old eighties, he's also a big fan of that very era and certainly not afraid to tell it to the world. "I'm very pleased with the sound as we've been kind of going for the big eighties thing, ala Foreigner and Giant. The songs have that big 'eighties' sound, and though these songs haven’t really been performed live, you can imagine how they would come off live. Some people may say my style is a bit 'old school', but that's fine with me. I don't care for a lot of 'modern' music these days. I have the kind of voice that lends itself to more of the eighties power pop thing. What I really like is hooky melodies."
...And we're all about catchy hooks over here at RockUnited, yeah? But, what about that connection between Mr. Bush and the science fiction cartoon series of the Transformers? A curse or a blessing in the sky/skies? "I've always loved pop music, where the chorus jumps out at you. The rock-anthem style on some of the songs, like my song 'The Touch' from the original 'Transformers: The Movie' is what my fans have come to expect. For instance my song 'Til All Are One' (from the upcoming album) is in the new Transformers Game coming out in June 2010, and 'The Touch' is the ad campaign for the game. 'The Touch' came also out on Guitar Hero WT last year, and has been in films 'Boogie Nights', and Chuck (NBC) and American Dad (Fox). American Dad (Fox) just aired 'The Touch' on Sunday. The episode is called: "Cops and Roger", and you can watch it online at: http://www.fox.com/watch/americandad
You better believe it! Mr. Bush is THE man when it comes to the Transformers and their music. Then what about the importance of keeping balance between lyrics and songs on the upcoming release? "The lyrics are holding up really well for me. I wrote some uplifting 'go for it' songs, as well as some great love songs. The album seems to strike a good balance. I really like the title song 'Dream the Dream'. It has that classic AOR sound and the melody is very strong. 'In My Life' is another one I really love. It's a huge power ballad with a great melody and an honest lyric," grunts the former president of the united states of rock. Actually, I'd vote Mr. Bush for President of America too as long as it didn't stop him from recording new albums...
"i've added another 5 thousand of my own money to make it as good as possible"...
We started chating about budget and the importance of communication and finding a good producer/friend. "The initial recording budget was 15 thousand, but I've added another 5 thousand of my own money to make it as good as possible. And none of the budget has been wasted. My producer Holger Fath already has his home studio with all the gear we needed. We recorded drums and bass in a big studio and are mixing there as well. Holger has been very influential throughout the recording process. We are best friends and have excellent communication with each other. Together we come up with killer arrangements and ideas for parts. Holger is a great guitarist, and he comes up with cool keyboard parts as well and has a lot of great ideas. Some of his musical ideas are from left field, and are often just what is needed to create a distinctive sound. We used a lot of background vocals too. He used tuned-down guitars on 'The Touch- Sam's Theme' which gives it a super heavy sound. He spent a lot of time working on guitar parts and arrangements to make the songs totally work."
What about the record label in Italy, Europe, are they easy to work or do they have a say in everything? Pizza AND Pasta? "Frontiers had some input on the songs. Fortunately I have the same musical tastes as they do. There were a couple of songs we had to rearrange and one that didn't make the album. I'm very happy with the way everything came out though. However, there was a song with a kind of spiritual message, that the label didn't think fit with the other stuff. I may release it on my own later or something. They were a little impatient when I took over a year to write and record the album, but they love what we came up with. I have to say Frontiers has always believed in me as an artist. My last album 'In This Life' was an excellent album (you guys at rockunited rated it 'album of the year' in 2007). It was a tough album to follow, but I think the new one is even better."
Yeah, that's exactly what I thought he would say - the new one is better... And I better not interfere with any stupid question here, let the man continue. "These days I think you need be realistic in terms of costs. Frontiers did bring me over to Europe to perform at a festival, and have been good in terms of promotion, press, etc... Part of the deal with this genre, and the melodic rock audience is to reach the fans. I feel like they do a good job getting my name out there. I have the rights for the North American territory, and have a lot of fans here... Transformers fans, plus having my songs used in TV and films."
"they had both dated the same girl before"...
Well, the music business is not what it used to be... for good and worse. Did anything weird happen in the studio this time? "Well as I said the drummer and bass player did the entire album in three days since their parts were already mostly mapped out. The tracking session was pretty funny. The bass player, Matt Bissonette and the drummer Matt Laug, at one point realized they had both dated the same girl before. It got kind of interesting", he smiles while I ask him about regrets and any special words to the people of the world wide web.
"no regrets this time"...
"No, I don't have any regrets. Usually, if there is ever a regret I have, it's that I got in a hurry and let something slide that could have been better. No regrets this time. We had the luxury of time, so I think all the songs are pretty much great. I'd like to thank everybody for the support, especially rockunited.com, who rated my last album 'In This Life' album of the year for 2007! Look for the new album 'Dream the Dream' to come out August 2010!". - Stan Bush
It’s been a good chat, and for more info please check out: www.stanbush.com
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, @ urban "at" rockunited.com